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Phantom Thread Blu-ray Review


PTA returns with the odd “Phantom Thread.”

Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is always one to try different things and his latest film “Phantom Thread” is no exception. In this 50’s London period piece, the story revolves around a renowned dressmaker named Reynolds who works with his sister Cyril on creating outfits for high profile clients. One day Reynolds meets a young waitress (Alma) and things begin to get serious between the two. Eventually, she moves in and becomes his assistant/muse. However, not everything is rosy between Reynolds and Alma as their relationship becomes tested by numerous factors. To say what would be spoiling the story.

On paper, “Phantom Thread” doesn’t sound like the most eventful story. In truth, it’s not, but you won’t mind the lack of events here as this is very much a deep character piece about relationships, secrets, balancing a personal and professional life, love, compromise, submission, control, and perfection. Moreover, the movie doesn’t play out like you’d think as the story ventures into strange territory. For the most part, the weird elements work…aside from the ending. Now, I’m not saying the ending is ghastly or anything, it just feels tacked on. In the context of the rest of the film, it seems to come out of left field. Is it a bold move? No question, but I’m not sure it fits even if it makes sense.

Given that this is a character piece, one shouldn’t be surprised that ‘Phantom’ is an exquisite showcase for acting. Daniel Day-Lewis is often cited as one of the great actors. Sometimes, but he can chew the scenery like no other (see “Gangs of New York”). In this film he thankfully gives a more subdued performance. In some ways it even feels like a very personal story for the actor if you’re familiar with his craft. If this is to be his final performance, he certainly gives a memorable one. As good as DDL is, his costars are just as noteworthy in my humble opinion. Lesley Manville (who earned an Academy Award nomination for her work) steals the show as the tough, honest and shrewd sister. Vicky Krieps, whose work I really wasn’t familiar, gives an underappreciated performance. She has the tough task of acting opposite Lewis and really holds her own.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The color palette and cinematography choices stand out on Blu-ray. You can really see the visual intention by PTA here.

Audio Track: DTS: X. How does it sound? This audio track seems like overkill, but hey, that Jonny Greenwood score has never sounded better. Oh, and the track is fantastic too.

Extras: * DVD copy * Digital copy * Universal trailers * “Behind The Scenes Photographs”- Stills shown over demo versions of the score by Greenwood. * “Camera Tests”- Nearly 9 minutes of camera tests with optional commentary by PTA. * “House Of Woodcock Fashion Show”- Adam Buxton narrates a Woodcock Fashion Show from the film. * “For The Hungry Boy”- Nearly 5 minutes of deleted scenes. Nothing too noteworthy here.

“Phantom Thread” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD April 10, 2018 with a 4K release to follow May 8, 2018.

March 24, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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